Thinner artery walls are a good thing, because thicker ones indicateatherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart attack. In a studypublished in the December 2006 Journal of the American MedicalAssociation, pioglitazone (Actos, a thiazolidinedione) was comparedto glimepiride (a sulfonylurea) with regard to carotid arterythickness.
For a period of 18 months, 462 patients with type 2diabetes were given one or the other. In the end, the thickness ofthe artery in the glimepiride group increased by a tiny amount,0.012 millimeters. In the pioglitazone group, average thicknessfell by an even tinier amount, 0.001 millimeters.